Beyond banners and pre-roll ads
Want to make movies for a living, without the help of Mr. Spielberg or Scorsese? Start your own YouTube channel, get yourself 50,000 subscribers, and you’ll never have to work again!
Online video is everywhere. Today, it’s the most important content type for entertainment … and marketing. People love watching videos of just about anything. Approximately 33% of all online activity is spent watching video content.
Facebook Media reports that more than half of all daily Facebook visitors in the U.S. watch at least one video a day. And people aren’t just watching more videos – they’re posting more themselves too. In fact, the number of video posts per person increased by 94% in the U.S. over the past few years. But Facebook isn’t the star of video just yet. YouTube is.
YouTube began when PayPal employees created a video-sharing website where they could upload, share and view content. The domain name ‘www.youtube.com’ was activated in 2005. Today, 12 years later, the platform has over 1,325,000,000 users. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, after Google and before Facebook. YouTube is so enormous that currently 300 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. That’s five hours of video content every second! Online video is booming. But can the same be said about video marketing?
The influence of vloggers
Banners, pre-rolls and overlay ads are payable per actual view or click. But how many people actually watch those? A survey released last year indicated that up to 90% of people skip pre-roll ads. Add to this the growth of ad blocking – which rose 11% last year – and all the indicators suggest that YouTube ads are not the most effective way to reach your audience. But there is another way.
Video bloggers, better known as vloggers, are people who capture their daily lives by making videos and sharing these with the rest of the world. But they are much more than that. It’s a new generation of talented artists, writers, photographers and inventors who are revolutionizing the media landscape. They often have a close relationship with their viewers, which are mostly youngsters – an audience many brands have difficulties connecting with. The most popular vlogger is PewDiePie, who has almost 55 million subscribers. His most popular video has more than 77 million views. People like him reach millions of young people every single day, and they have a significant influence on the purchase decisions of their followers. As an article on Business Insider explains, YouTubers have become so influential that they now impact purchase decisions of more than half of consumers in the U.S.
How brands can join the party
So … how can brands participate in this monkey business? How can brands connect with millennials in a meaningful way, without throwing pre-rolls and banners at them? Well … how do you think these vloggers make money? Brands often give vloggers products, so they can use, wear and review these products. But you need to make sure your brand matches the vlogger’s identity. It needs to be authentic and not come across as pushy. Like when Casey Neistat jumps into a Juice Press shop every now and then to emphasize his active and healthy lifestyle. Or when vlogger and photographer Ben Brown shows off his Canon camera gear. It simply fits the character.
“Your aim should be to integrate your products with influencers whose voice aligns with your brand and mission,” says Stacey Ferreira, CEO of AdMoar, a company that matches brands with YouTube creators. “Brands that integrate their products into highly sought-after content get a two-for-one benefit. They get word of mouth marketing while also reaching a much wider and engaged audience.”
4 tips to find the right YouTuber for your brand
- Dive into the world of vloggers and define which person (including his or her audience) relates best to your brand.
- Connect to the life a YouTube star is living – they have become peer experts on specific domains. Only then will you be able to forge a meaningful partnership.
- View vloggers as your creative equals. While it is vital for brands to respect the editorial integrity of each YouTube creator, you have to support them in coming up with a content strategy.
- Ultimately, to get the best out of vlogger talent, you need to have a clear strategy and a focus on what you want to achieve, and how it will resonate with the audience.